How to be a Connected Remote Worker in 10 Easy Steps

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Presentation given at 'Improving Services and Reducing Costs Through Flexible Working', Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Public Sector Forums …

Presentation given at 'Improving Services and Reducing Costs Through Flexible Working', Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Public Sector Forums
Tuesday 23rd June 2009
by Marieke Guy, Research Officer, UKOLN

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  • 1. How to be a Connected Remote Worker in 10 Easy Steps Improving Services and Reducing Costs Through Flexible Working, Edgbaston, Public Sector Forums Tuesday 23rd June 2009 UKOLN is supported by: Marieke Guy Research Officer This work is licensed under a Attribution- NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 licence www.ukoln.ac.uk www.bath.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 2. What do you do? • I don’t work for a council, but do work in the public sector for a University • I’m not a manager or support staff, but I am a user • Who currently employs, manages or supports remote workers? • Who is a remote worker? • Who has had a go at working remotely? www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 3. Introduction to UKOLN • UKOLN is a National centre of expertise in digital information management • Library and cataloguing background • Located at the University of Bath • Funded by JISC and MLA to advise UK HE and FE communities and the cultural heritage sector • Many areas of work including: – Digital preservation: DCC – Metadata, registry work – Repositories: eBank, Intute, SWORD, DRIVER – Dissemination: Ariadne, International Journal of Digital Curation – eScience: eCrystals….etc. www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 4. Introduction to Me • Been at UKOLN 9 years • Now a remote worker • Member of the Community & Outreach Team • Currently working on: – Chair of the Institutional Web Management Workshop – Cultural heritage work • Previous roles/projects include: – Good APIs project, JISC-PoWR, JISC Standards Catalogue, QA Focus, SPP Project Manager, ePrints UK project manager, Public Library Focus work, NOF- digitise, Web Magazines www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 5. Today’s Resources • All resources (and more) linked with Delicious tag: http://delicious.com/mariekeguy/flexible2009 • All ppts etc will be available from my blog http://remoteworker.wordpress.com/ • And Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/MariekeGuy/how-to-be-a- connected-remote-worker-in-10-easy-steps-1609293 • Feel free to email me (m.guy@ukoln.ac.uk) or follow me on Twitter (mariekeguy) www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 6. Work is becoming something you do, not a place you go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/latteart/2547757031/
  • 7. What’s a Remote Worker? • Anyone who works from home (occasionally or full-time) • Anyone who works beyond the office • Anyone who works in a virtual team • Somebody outside the pond • Esther Schindler’s four ways in which a RW can operate: – At a fixed location at the employee’s home – At different offices – At a client site – As a true nomad or ‘road warrior’ www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 8. Why Remote Working? • Work-life balance • Flexibility – Work on the go – Separate sites • Loyalty and reduced absenteeism, staff retention • Ability to recruit from anywhere • Productivity – Work continuity • Environment • Reduction of overheads www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 9. Remote Working on the Rise • Right to request flexible working extended (April 2009) - 4.5m parents eligible • Currently one-fifth of the UK workforce does some work from home (UK Office for National Statistics records) • 90% of these are in managerial, professional, technical and skilled trades • Consider the effect of: – Recession – cutting overheads – Pandemic – swine flu, need for risk management strategy – Environment – Weather - snow www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 10. Challenges • Loss of face-to-face contact – Connection/collaboration with the team • Perceptions of remote workers • Morale • Blurred boundaries • Organisational issues – Corporate identity – Management approach – Trust – Budget – Culture • Technical issues – Support – Security www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 11. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jakesdad/2838195408/ The ideal solution for most employees who work remotely is for the set-up at home to replicate the set-up in the office
  • 12. 1:Getting a RW started • Hardware – PC, monitor, printer, keyboard, laptop, DVD rewriters, scanners, audio & video equipment, headset, speakers, phone, etc. • Software – All the programmes they have in the office, and more! – User accounts – Remote access to email, calendar etc. • Broadband and Wireless – Offer options, reviews, support alternatives • VPN (SSL) • Introduction to the organisation – Overview of systems, servers, Web site and Intranet www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 13. TECHNOLOGY Technology is about connections - connecting people to each other, to ideas, and to possibilities
  • 14. 2: Communications Tools • Email • Telephony • VOIP – Skype, vontage • Online Chat – AIM, Skype, SMS, IRC, Jabber, • Social Networking – Facebook, Linkedin, Xing, • Microblogging –Twitter, Yammer, Jaiku • RSS – Google reader • Recommendation services – Friend Feed • Blogs www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 15. 3: Collaborative Working Tools • Wikis • Shared applications – Google docs • Project management tools • Bookmarking tools – Delicious, Connotea • File transfer • Calendars www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 16. 4: Virtual Meetings • Access Grid • Virtual Room Videoconferencing System (VRVS) • Skype • Tokbox • Webinar • Value of community – support from outside the pond www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 17. 5: Mobile Devices • Smartphones, PDAs, Blackberries, laptops • Make sure they are added in a structured way – record all devices – ID number • Handset envy? • Maintain all devices • Making your data (Intranet etc.) available on mobile devices • Mobile unified communications – bringing data back • Mobile broadband – dongles, 3G • Security issues – both data (encryption?) and actual devices (locks) www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 18. 6: Technical Support • Tracking system – Logging support calls, detailed audit trails • Create online documentation – FAQs, self-help tools • Remote assistance/access (windows/LINUX), remote PC diagnostic tools – Problems tend to cover connectivity, access rights, equipment support and application software • Availability of staff • Give RWs freedom to support themselves, feedback • Security - anti-malware, firewall, data encryption software • Security of data (greater risk of loss or theft?), Laptop encryption www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 19. 7: Amplified Conferences • Video Streaming • Assigning a tag • Creative Commons • Sharing available resources – PPTs – Slideshare – Photos - Flickr – Video – YouTube – Podcasts – Podomatic • Promote your resources www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 20. POLICY When a boardroom policy is being created it should always keep practical implementation at the front of its mind http://www.flickr.com/photos/a440/512348882/
  • 21. 8: Policies • Set them up in advance • Make them clear and transparent • But also make them flexible • Cover: – Eligibility, availability, contact procedures, workspace requirements, equipment and usage, expenses, training, ownership, etc. • Questions for consideration: – Can they use their own PC if they chose? – Can they use their work PC for home use? – Can other people use their PC? • Observe the development of effective patterns of usage rather than dictate www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 22. 9: Improving Morale • RW fodder - self-sufficiency, self-belief and the ability to motivate themselves • Inclusion and Support • Shared Goals • Time management • Commitment – From remote workers – From all other staff – From management – From IT services • Responsibility • Feedback mechanisms – for RW and from team leader www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 23. 10: A Support Framework • UKOLN – Iterative process – RW community – RW champion • JISC project Location Independent Working – 40 staff – Training and handbook • Support Framework = – Technology + – Policies and Procedures + – Commitment + – Feedback www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 24. Public Sector Barriers • UKOLN is aware that there can be some barriers to use of Web 2.0 services (legal, cultural, financial, technical, resource wise etc.) in the public sector • Currently carrying out some work looking at reasons for bans on services • All resources tagged on delicious using ‘barriers-to-social- web’ tag • Please share examples of policies; both restrictive and sensible • Times they are a changin… www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 25. Conclusions • Research on virtual teams - 90/10 rule, i.e. that to work effectively they should comprise 90% people, 10% technology • Communication and community are key – Inclusion and support – Shared goals – Encourage constructive feedback – Policies and procedures • A connected remote worker requires commitment from everyone in your organisation www.ukoln.ac.uk A centre of expertise in digital information management
  • 26. COMMITMENT UKOLN remote workers